"I Murdered A Screenwriter & Slept My Way To The Top": Getting Frank & Funny With Sarah Haskins


When Sarah Haskins emailed to say that her Target Women career had come to an end, we were sad. But it also gave us a chance to talk to her – below, DILFs, baby bridesmaids and being yelled into greatness.

Dodai: So my first question, is, of course, how do you feel about the end of Target Women?

Sarah: The end of Target Women — or rather, me doing Target Women — is bittersweet. I’m really proud of what I — and everyone who worked on it — accomplished, but I think it’s also time to move on and take the funny new places.

Dodai: Looking back, do you have a favorite episode — or “Target”?

Sarah: I have a few: cleaning, “number two”, ladyfriends, and Target Women: Ann Curry (which no one liked but me).

Dodai: Oh, I loved the Ann Curry one! Griping about her is one of my favorite things to do. ALTHOUGH. I saw her at a party and I felt a little bit bad. She seemed so nice.

Sarah: I have a very intense relationship with the Today show. Just on my end. I watch it way too much. So, I started analyzing why the producers are apparently trying to kill her.

Dodai: Do you watch the fourth hour with Hoda and Kathie Lee? I am always hoping to be there for the very moment Hoda decides she is over it.

Sarah: I do. It’s always just sort of on when I’m trying to start my day and they keep sucking me in. My fiance and I want to buy the Hoda and Kathie Lee shower curtain. To frighten guests.

Dodai: Yikes! I didn’t know there was such a thing, but I support your purchasing decision. Do you feel that there were any opportunities you missed Targeting? Any ad, person or company you just didn’t get to?

Sarah: Good question — I suppose we could have done a Sarah Palin sequel — that’s the gift that keeps on giving – and I never quite figured out how to succinctly cover entertainment/sitcoms. Like Cougartown. Also, we never did “vagina stuff.”

Dodai: Oh yes, Anna Holmes wanted me to ask you about Sarah Palin!

Sarah: Yes. Sarah Palin. What about that sweet sweet moose killer?

Dodai: She did seem perfect for Target Women. Actually she STILL DOES.

Sarah: We did one when she got in the race — it was about how the conventional wisdom at the time was that Hillary supporters would apparently drop all their political convictions to vote for a new set of boobs… but Palin certainly deserved another. I’m sure infoMania will get to it.

Dodai: Did you ever hear from any company or product you targeted? Yogurt people, or those crusty mops that lurk outside women’s doors?

Sarah: No. I kept thinking that maybe I’d get a year’s supply of Swiffer cloths. Nope. Well, there was that one mop… but that was a special night.

Dodai: The late night wars are in the news, and I think it’s interesting that even though Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have their own primetime shows, late night is still a man’s world, mostly. Do you have any thoughts? Or answers as to why?

Sarah: I wish I had answers. I think comedy is changing, slowly — it’s still male dominated, but I knew (and know) so many great women working in the “grassroots” scene – sketch and improv theaters and stand up. So, hopefully as this generation moves up, and men get used to working with women in comedy the argument that dudes need some sort of sacrosanct place to be gross and women don’t belong there will change. I’m referring mainly to the lack of female writers on those shows and the writing rooms.

Dodai: Right, right… it seems like a tougher road for women in comedy to me, but what’s weird is that movies like The Hangover do well with both men and women — it’s not like women don’t want to, you know, laugh.

Sarah: I firmly believe that women want to laugh almost as much as we want to darn socks…. maybe even more. I know — I sound like a radical.

Dodai: … It’s weird to me that “funny” movies with women involve brides or babies.

Sarah: Yes — it’s the same kind of simplification made by the people who thought women would vote for Sarah Palin just because she’s a woman. It’s the kind of conclusion drawn by someone who ISN’T a woman “hmmm, they like weddings…bet we could make a wedding movie.”

That said, my new movie is called Baby Bridesmaids. Women will love it.

Dodai: HA! Not to get all shrink-y on you, but do you ever feel intimidated by the — for lack of a better word — industry? Knowing what you know about how women fare?

I’m new enough at this that I don’t feel intimidated. This may seem like a digression, but bear with me for a small anecdote. Once, when I was about eleven and my sister was eight, we were going on a camping trip. The day of the trip, in the car, on the way, I got scared and started trying to back out of the trip saying I don’t want to go. And my Mom, turned around in her seat and yelled “YOU’RE GOING! YOU COME FROM A LINE OF STRONG WOMEN!” And I think that attitude’s infected me. There are also strong women in the industry, and a lot of them have been very helpful to me – so, I have a positive attitude right now. I want to do stuff, and I don’t want anyone to stop me.

Dodai: I think that’s a fantastic attitude! And your mom sounds awesome. Yelling you into greatness!

Sarah: My sister and I still yell it at each other.

Dodai: Can we just talk about movies for a sec? Did you see Bright Star or The Hurt Locker?

Sarah: I saw The Hurt Locker. Amazing.

Dodai: Okay, so, The Golden Globe for Best Picture went to Avatar. And not The Hurt Locker.

Yeah. That was disappointing.

Dodai: A woman has never won an Oscar for directing. I don’t have a question here actually! Just want to know what you think about this crap.

Sarah: I know. I’m shocked that Kathryn Bigelow didn’t win for Best Director either. I don’t think I’m going to beat Manohla Dargis’ interview on this front, but its not a good situation. There are obviously brilliant female creative voices in this world and the film industry hasn’t tapped into them.

Dodai: Well, we can change gears a little: I want to know about your new funny projects. Screenplays! How is it going/where are you in the process/how long until we see something on the screen?

Sarah: There are two big funny projects in the works — both co-written with Emily Halpern — Booksmart, which is at Fox, and we’re working on a screenplay entitled Lunch Lady for Amy Poehler. In the short term, Emily and I made a short film starring us called DILF which hopefully we can put online pretty soon. We’d heard enough about MILFs. So we made a DILF.

Dodai: Ooooh!

Sarah: Yeah. Let’s just say, someone makes out with Tim Daly.

Dodai: OMG. Looking forward to that! But filming hasn’t started on Booksmart or Lunch Lady?

Sarah: Nope. Well, Lunch Lady is in the early stages. And, so far, I’ve learned that movies move like glaciers…

Dodai: You live in L.A., right?

Sarah: Yes. I am. I moved here to work for Current.

Dodai: What is the most “Hollywood” thing you have done?

Sarah: I murdered a screenwriter, slept my way to the top and poured cocaine all over Mullholland Drive. And that was just yesterday.

Dodai: I missed the PR release!

Sarah: I’m seriously lame. I haven’t done anything exciting. Oooh! I saw Michael Cera at the grocery store! But I did not say hi.

Dodai: Well I’m looking forward to seeing you fall out of a car with no underwear on. Wait, I didn’t mean it that way.

Sarah: Sure you didn’t. I should go to a club or something but it goes against my philosophy “why stand in line for booze and dancing when I have booze and dancing in my very own living room?” I hate lines. And I never have the right clothes to go to cool places and if I try to dress like I do I look like a lady of the evening.

Dodai: Well since they can’t run into you on the dancefloor, how can people keep up with what you’re doing in this Post-Target Women world? (Twitter?)

Sarah: Yes. This sounds ridiculous, but yes, Twitter. I am on Twitter and I will still be doing things. Also, if you liked Target Women enough to follow me on twitter, thank you.

Dodai: And the DILF video? Will that be announced via Twitter? Inquiring minds!

Sarah: Yes. When DILF is ready, it will be tweeted.

Dodai: Awesome. Well I think we’ve covered just about everything. There is one thing I have wanted to ask you but I can’t figure out if it’s catty or not?

Sarah: Oh dear!

Dodai: And it is: How do you feel about Diablo Cody? I am not trying to like, start shit. Just curious.

Sarah: Diablo Cody is doing the hard work of paving the way for women who want to be writers and producers. You’ve gotta admire that. She won an Oscar, heads a show — she’s doing it.

Dodai: Cool, cool. I don’t like the haterade, myself. But we are done! Thank you so much for everything. I’ll be hanging on your every Tweet until DILF materializes.

Sarah: Thank you. And thanks for talking. Jezebel’s support was crucial for Target Women and I always appreciated it. Thank you.

Sarah Haskins [Twitter]

Earlier: All Sarah Haskins posts

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